Over 500 college students at the Marquis Marriott in Downtown Houston, TX enjoyed a week filled with a star-studded list of speakers and interaction with like-minded peers at the Young America’s Foundation’s (YAF) 43rd National Conservative Student Conference. The conference was held from Aug. 2 to Aug. 7, 2021.
The conference was held in Houston as opposed to its usual location in Washington, D.C., due to the mask mandate in the Nation’s capital. Houston was ideal because it served as a central location that allowed students from all over the country to attend.
The event began with Ben Shapiro, who gave his first in-person speech since the pandemic began, and then spanned a whole five days of speakers and socializing. The list of speakers included Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), Rep. Byron Donalds (FL-19), Rep. Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-08), and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton among many others.
Students were also able to listen to in-depth lectures on hot button issues from experts like James Lindsey on Critical Race Theory, Dr. Ryan Anderson on the Transgender Movement, Veronica Arnold Smither on Abortion, Declan Ganley on Crony Corporatism, and Dr. Burt Folsom on Free Markets and Race.
Jules Accomazzo, a freshman at Grand Canyon University who attended the conference, thought that the conference was a positive experience.
“My first YAF conference was very different than I imagined. It was more intense than I thought it would be, but overall it was a good experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone. My favorite part of YAF was “networking” with other students. I enjoyed connecting with people and making friends with like-minded views across the country!”
On Tuesday night, more than a hundred students walked through Downtown Houston on a sightseeing tour of the many prominent monuments and buildings Downtown Houston has in store.
Former Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker, now President of YAF, was a constant presence at the event, taking pictures with students, eating meals with them, and running a 5K on Friday morning with a small but determined group of students.
José Quijada, an immigrant from Venezuela who now attends Lone Star College, also enjoyed his time at the conference.
“It was an amazing experience! Like nothing I have ever done before. People were professional and friendly, which made it super easy to make new friends. Seeing Ben Shapiro for the first time was great! But I will say being able to be with like-minded people for a week was AWESOME. Love[ed] the experience and will do it again.”
YAF’s next conference is September 24th at their headquarters in Reston, Virginia. Titled “Road to Freedom Seminar: Secrets to Advancing Free Markets Over Wokeness,” speakers will include Rachel Bovard, Andrew F. Puzder, and Governor Walker.
Cover image used with permission of Young America’s Foundation.